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I gained confidence that I could achieve my dreams when I

show determination, dedication, and perseverance. I decided

to compete in Veterinary Science next. Since this competitive

event was my first skills test, I was unsure about the process. I

was happy to place first at the SLC, but I did not even qualify for

recognition at the NLC. I was disappointed to fail the skills test

at the NLC. Experiencing my first mind block ever during the

skills test, I did not finish the skill in the allotted time, and it was a

skill that I had easily performed over a hundred times at a clinic.

Despite my disappointment, I learned from the experience and

knew how I could readily pass the skills test next time. During

the following SLC, the Veterinary Science skills test had the same

skill, but I was prepared to ace it, and I did receive a perfect score.

Regaining my confidence, I continued to study for the NLC, and

I placed first at the NLC with my fellow chapter member placing

second. For a second time, I had experienced how perseverance

and confidence helped me reach my goal. I then decided to try a

third competitive event, Epidemiology, for my last year. I desired

to do well in Epidemiology because I am fascinated by the subject,

and my pre-vet courses and experiences have related to the

subject. With another year and determined to study, I placed first

at both the SLC and NLC in Epidemiology. I even shocked myself

that I was a three-time national champion.

Besides my personal quest for medical knowledge, I served

in leadership positions at the local and state levels. I learned

how to effectively delegate tasks and collaborate with people

having diversified backgrounds. I also learned how I could bring

people together as a team. Everyone has their strengths and

weaknesses, but it is how you incorporate each team member’s

strengths to form a cohesive team. From being a co-president of

my high school’s chapter and four years later being the president

of my university’s chapter, I could feel my improved leadership

skills, and I also experienced our chapter’s great accomplishments

due to the collaboration and delegation of duties. I thoroughly

enjoyed each of my chapter’s service, fundraising, and social

events. During my junior year of college, I served as the NC

HOSA Postsecondary/Collegiate President. This experience

was invaluable. I had the opportunity to meet HOSA members

and healthcare professionals from across the country, and I had

the opportunity to serve my state as a role model. To unify the

postsecondary/collegiate division in NC, I created the first NC

HOSA Postsecondary/Collegiate Leadership Conference, which

provided HOSA members networking opportunities with HOSA

members from across the state and with healthcare professionals

participating as guest speakers. The postsecondary/collegiate

members desired to have a program exclusively for their division,

and I hoped that this event would assist students in developing

their career path and future employment. Now, there have been

two NC HOSA Postsecondary/Collegiate Leadership Conferences,

and the third will occur this year.

Being a HOSA member in both the secondary and postsecondary/

collegiate divisions, I enjoyed the privileges of being an adult

within the postsecondary/collegiate division. These privileges

allowed us to organize service events more easily (not needing

parental approval). My chapter was relatively small, but there

was high participation among the members. I cherished my

friendships and close-knit chapter. Continuing HOSA into college,

I learned more about HOSA’s organization and opportunities,

and I also was able to readily apply my skills from HOSA to my

courses. Learning medical terminology and veterinary science

principles from the competitive events helped me in my animal

science courses, especially anatomy and physiology, and in

general science courses. The lessons I learned while studying for

the Epidemiology event helped me understand current disease

outbreaks covered in the news. Further involvement in HOSA

through the postsecondary/collegiate division allowed me to

receive scholarships and participate in the HOSA Public Health

Leadership Seminar. Overall, my experiences in HOSA have

prepared me for my career field by gaining technical knowledge

and communicative skills.

Most HOSA members aspire to become a physician or a nurse,

but I have always aspired to become a veterinarian. I was excited

to find out about the Veterinary Science event and expand upon

my skills. As a HOSA member, I have tried to connect with the

human medicine side of health and also have tried to show other

members the relation of veterinary medicine with overall health.

One of my favorite aspects about HOSA is that it is comprised of

diverse individuals with various backgrounds and career paths,

but despite these differences, HOSA members collaborate to

achieve their goals and fuel their passion for healthcare. While

I was the NC HOSA Postsecondary/Collegiate President, I

created our state theme “Many Fields, One Force.” This phrase

summarizes the diversity yet interconnectedness of disciplines

within healthcare working together to achieve a common goal—

improved healthcare.

In all, HOSA prepares you for your future career by developing

your personal qualities and expanding your medical knowledge.

HOSA polishes your ship’s hull and unfurls your sails while also

stocking your cargo hold with supplies. The next step is to hoist

the anchor, take the helm, and conquer the waves leading you to

your future treasure.